Loving our Children Well

One of my favorite books that has been incredibly encouraging to me as a wife and mom is Boundaries.  Written by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend way back in 1992, it has been revised and become part of a series with other books added through the years.  This series replete with Biblical principles has impacted my parenting, and when my children started to approach their teen years, I eagerly picked up another Boundaries book Boundaries for Teens.  There is very practical and applicable information that has helped me to navigate proper boundaries and still show love to my family.  As an only child dealing with conflict is definitely one of my weaknesses.  Because of this, I have a tendency to avoid conflict at all costs.  This is perilous as a mother! This series assisted me in moving through all the new relationships and the changes in seasons as we went from toddler years and adolescence.

Check out the rest of the post over at w2wministries.org!

Praying you’ll have a great weekend!

Mother’s Day Rest

I recently had the opportunity to speak to mothers and daughters who had gathered for an afternoon tea. It was a super sweet occasion and not only fun for the little girls to drink from the fancy cups, but also for the moms and grandmothers, aunts, etc. to just enjoy a time away from the normal hectic Saturday afternoon activities.  As mothers, it’s important to take some time to step away because it’s so easy to stay stuck in the cycle of routine.

I enjoyed sharing with the ladies some of what the Lord had been teaching me as we made some comparisons between our spiritual lives and making a good cup of tea.  Perhaps the funniest part of the event was that I had brought one of my favorite mugs from home – “wake up and be awesome” and made sure it was good and dirty.

(referencing Matthew 23:25, 26 – Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.)

Curious where this headed?  click here and read the rest of the story 🙂

 

Also please be sure to get some extra free resources I have made available for you my readers.  Thank you for all of your support!

Coloring Pages – designed for your children with Mother’s Day in mind. Click here for the link to the pages, when you click the images they will give you the ability to download the free PDF file that you can print.

Bible Study on Joy – download your free study here Choose Joy!

We will be digging into this study in Facebook Live sessions at the Encouraging Women Today Facebook page each Monday at 4pm. Come join me here!

What’s in Your Cup – study on Christian Living – just click here for the download!

Less is More

A new blog post is up over at w2wministries.org.  I hope you’ll check it out.  I really believe that in a day and time where we are pushed to get the new and next thing, or to continue to overbook our lives, taking a moment to assess the needs is important.

You can read more here

Praying you’ll be encouraged today!

www.encouragingwomentoday.com

UNPLUG!

Now more than ever we seem to be living on sensory overload!

Have you noticed it too?  Maybe it has crept in on you and the subtle changes to the way you live are not too noticeable.  Or maybe you’ve been aware, but since everyone is doing it you have joined them.  It’s hard not to join in when you see the tops of everyone’s heads as they stay engrossed in their phones and the apps on them.

Now before I go any further I’m not saying technology is bad.  It’s not.  It is so useful and convenient for some many things. I am personally on my laptop, Ipad, phone, etc. numerous hours a week.  But the more we use it, the more we use it.  I realize that was a deep one. But have you noticed just how much we rely on our stuff.  The smaller the gadgets get also the more they invade our every process.  My watch now vibrates my arm on a regular basis reminding me to drink water, to stand up, to get some exercise, what the latest breaking news is and when someone is texting or calling and I don’t have my phone.  Now it’s an incredible convenience and helps me stay on top of things that are good for me and needful, but it can also interrupt my line of thought and keep me off focus.

Read more of this article over at w2wministries.org – just click here

PS – I am getting ready to launch a video series on Finding Joy in our Everyday lives!  I’d love to have you join me!  If you haven’t signed up for the newsletter for Encouraging Women Today – you’ll want to do so to receive the latest updates.  Also if you aren’t on the Facebook page for Encouraging Women today – join us – This is where I will be hosting the Facebook Lives for this project!

Click here for the newsletter signup

Click here for the Facebook page link

I look forward to seeing each of you there!

The Value of a Good Attitude

As a mom who has worked with my own children and many others in my music studio for more than twenty years now, I have realized that if I could encourage parents along the journey with something in particular it would be in the area of life lessons.  I began a blog and outlined a book about life lessons with this sole purpose, and still believe it to be one of the biggest things that I would love for parents to hear and understand.

Learning life lessons that enable children to become better, more responsible adults truly begins in our homes.  Reading this week here, I was surprised to find that many millennials when asked what age adulthood begins respond with the age of 30 or even 40!  What?!  How did this happen? Why did we allow them to believe that their adolescence should and could stretch this far?

While I cannot and will not say that I have all the answers because I truly don’t, I think that we can as parents take an active role in helping our children in their maturity.  We can then encourage those young families with young children to begin the same process in their homes.  While we can’t reap mature adults right away, we can begin to make progress and turn this ship around!

Read the rest over at my post on w2wministries.com

Reclaiming Laughter!

We are plagued in today’s society and our homes by a real travesty.  One that is sneaky and underhanded but devastating nonetheless. Today our homes are in dire need of some humor and lightheartedness.  Dare I even say – we just need to laugh more!

Lest you think this is an easy task for me or even possibly one that I have personally mastered, you must understand that I am type A, only child, goal oriented INFJ who has a tendency to think that laughter is not necessary.  That is until it’s missing for a bit, and everyone is on edge and the mood is miserable.  Then…I stop and try to figure out what’s going on!

This happens in our home when my husband travels.  Certain times of the year he can be gone for several days or even a week or more at a time.  We tend to roll along our merry way for a day or two, but eventually things tend to get a bit tense.  There are three females in the house after all…can I get a witness!  My poor son, y’all pray for him!  Needless to say, my husband who is very even tempered and quick witted tends to keep our home lighthearted and when he’s gone, his absence is definitely noticed.

So what’s a girl to do?

Read the rest of the post over at w2wministries – just click here!

The Importance of Prayer Ministry

One of my favorite books on prayer, Quiet Talks on Prayer, relates a story from DL Moody’s evangelistic ministry. The story hinged on one woman’s prayers during a season of sickness. Homebound and heartsick, she found instead a greater calling to a deeper prayer time. She spent time in prayer for her church, for the services, and for salvation of the lost souls in her community.

She read a story in a journal, sometime into her new season of life, about Mr. Moody and the work he was doing in the United States.  Her prayer became an almost daily petition.   For more than year, she prayed that he would come to London and preach in their church. Yet during all this time she had no sign that her prayers would be answered. No encouragement. No confirmation.  Nothing.

This is an except of a post I have up at Woman to Woman today – you can read the rest here…

4 ways to Thrive not just Survive

This blog post is featured in my weekly column at woman to woman ministries today – I hope you’ll head over and recieve encouragement there as well.

God does not intend for us to only survive the rigors of this life.  Sometimes in the course of life, certain seasons carry more burdens than others certainly, but I believe that God’s desire is for us to thrive through each of the seasons. Scripture reminds us in many different verses – but here are three passages to consider:

  • John 10:10 tells us in Christ’s own words that he came for us to have life “more abundantly.”
  • David describes it in Psalms 23 as an “overflowing cup.”
  • John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

This is much easier said than done though.  It’s difficult to think of thriving for instance when you are busy:

  • Picking up the dirty laundry off the floor for the hundredth time that day
  • Changing that dirty diaper again when you just got cleaned up from the last one
  • Preparing one more meal in a day (especially if you homeschool – right mamas?)
  • Feeling and sharing the intense pain of rejection and heartache from our teenagers as they navigate the path to adulthood.
  • Dealing with the threat of loss of financial stability, health, jobs, and much more

Read the rest of this post here…

Owning my Inadequacy

My current Bible reading plan has me reading 10 chapters a day. Mostly you move ahead to the next book of the Bible as each is completed, with readings through the Old and New Testaments.  The only difference is the book of Acts and Proverbs.  When you finish those you start again.  It’s a little confusing to explain, but if you google Professor Grant Horner’s Bible Reading system you can find some more info there.  I have really enjoyed this method this year. I try to change things up each year as I read through the Bible, because I just find new and wonderful nuggets along the way.  This morning was just such a time for me but it happened in my first chapter – so I was stuck just pondering the passage for a while.

Has that happened for you? You’ve read something before, but never has the thought struck about the way things are worded or why Jesus said or did something the way he did?  It’s so exciting for me after all these years to continually be shown new things, and to have new thoughts leap up from the pages to my brain so I thought my encouraging word for you today would come from what I read this morning – I hope you will be encouraged by it.

Luke 9:10-17 Sets the scene once again for the feeding of the five thousand.  This is such an exciting time in the gospels as Jesus is teaching and leading and healing the people coming to him for help.  This is also not the only time we read of this story – it’s just from Luke’s gospel this time.  This record of events states that the 12 disciples came to Jesus asking him to send the large crowd away.  They needed food and lodging and the disciples were concerned because they were in a desolate place.

Now mind you I’ve read this account multiple times before but I was struck today by Jesus’ reply – vs. 13 But he said to them, “You give them something to eat.”  Now Jesus was already aware that they had no provisions for 5,000 men but they responded anyway with the fact that they only had five loaves and two fish.  I found it interesting that instead of Jesus just saying, yes you are right, we have no food I need to perform a miracle with the little we have, his first response was to tell them to feed them.

For me in that moment, I couldn’t just keep reading, because I know that is exactly what God does with me in my life.  He reveals my complete lack. My emptiness, and brokenness. My weakness and my failures. My inadequacy to do anything meaningful on my own. My complete mess of my own making with no answers in sight, so that He can reveal His glory in my story.  He took the little they gathered and blessed it and fed the crowd WITH LEFTOVERS afterward.  He revealed to them what they could not do so that they could see His vast omnipotence and miraculous hand in and over all.

How exciting!  Let me be honest though, it’s not often that I want to count up my failures and weakness.  Truth be told, I’m rather a “take charge” and get it done kind of person and  I work to get things figured out.  He reminded me in the quiet this morning that He already has it all figured out, and He is just waiting for me to realize it.

What a gift our relationship is with Him. My encouragement for you is to please – take the time to sit in His presence.  Nothing will help you face your day better than to dwell with Him.